UGI gas line project to affect Harrisburg traffic for a year

Harrisburg

A yearlong project by UGI started Monday, impacting travel in Harrisburg.

The natural gas main replacement project will affect about two dozen blocks. While the project officially began Monday, you won’t see lane closures until a few days from now.

One of UGI’s biggest projects, the natural gas and electric company will update gas service lines to about 650 homes and businesses, mainly in the Midtown area for the next year.

“We’re replacing non-contemporary mains, older mains that are in this part of the city, and replacing them with contemporary materials. These mains are made of high-density plastic,” said Joseph Swope, manager of media relations for UGI. 

The traffic impacts will happen on North Second Street and several adjacent streets. But the construction won’t be happening all at the same time.

“Two crews will be working on this project. One will start at Forster [Street] and one will start at Division [Street] and they’ll work their way toward the middle of the project,” said Swope. “They’ll work block by block.”

For the most part, one lane of traffic will be open at all times, but many people, living and working around the area, are not looking forward to the closures.

“Well, I walk all the way from down there because parking is so expensive, and they give you tickets here, so it’s going to be more of a pain for me because now I need to walk to my car and park down here. It’ll probably be a little more congested,” Harrisburg resident Jonathan Rey said.

UGI says most of the pipes have not been replaced since the ’60s. It says the traffic closures will be short-term pain for long-term gain.

“While the equipment uses less gas, they’re designed to operate at higher pressures, so when you put a medium pressure system in the street, it provides for a more reliable system going forward,” said Swope.

Work on each block will take about a month. The first closures will happen sometime later this week. Flaggers will be directing traffic.

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